WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND (AP) – New Zealand removed most of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions yesterday as the government signalled a return to normalcy.
People will no longer be required to wear masks in supermarkets, stores, busses or planes. The last remaining vaccine mandates – on healthcare workers – will end.
And tourists will no longer need to be vaccinated to visit the country. The government announced it was ditching its so-called COVID traffic light framework altogether and leaving in place just two main restrictions – that those who test positive for the virus isolate for seven days, and that people wear masks when visiting healthcare facilities like hospitals and aged-care homes.
The changes come as an Omicron variant outbreak wanes and the Southern Hemisphere winter ends. Case numbers in New Zealand are at the lowest point since February.